Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für die Erforschung der Europäischen Aufklärung

Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg Siegel

Interdisciplinary Centre for European Enlightenment Studies

The IZEA was founded in 1990 as a central scientific institution of the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg. As a research institution for the history of culture and ideas, it explores the foundation of modern Western societies through the study of ideas and cultural patterns developed in the 18th century.

18th century studies

The research program includes research and publishing projects dedicated to a wide variety of themes, such as the history of universities, societies and communication; anthropology, aesthetics, culture and knowledge transfer, scholarly culture and literary forms of representation in the 18th century; the development of cultural patterns; the Enlightenment in global networks; and the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz.

Connected with the region's research institutions

The IZEA is located in the Red School, built in 1896, which was formerly the Higher School for Girls of the Francke Foundations. The IZEA houses a public library containing primary sources and research literature related to the Enlightenment in regional and European contexts. The Alexander von Humboldt Chair of Modern Written Culture and European Knowledge Transfer and the Immanuel-Kant-Forum also have their offices in the building.

Enlightenment studies in international networks

Thanks to its outstanding library, its publishing projects, its geographic proximity to important historic sites related to the Enlightenment (including extensive archives, libraries and art collections), and its partnerships with major cultural and scientific institutions,  the IZEA is now one of the most important international research institutes dedicated to the study of the Enlightenment, and is an essential meeting point for scientists from around the world.

Alfred Anger Library

Prof. Dr. Alfred Anger (1926-2012) was a pioneer of advanced eighteenth-century studies, and honorary member of the Martin-Luther University as well as the IZEA. He conducted, among other themes, extensive research on the so-called Rococo literature and Anacreontic, and on sensualist and playful forms of literature, which already emerged in the early and middle phase of the Enlightenment alongside the rationalist and reformist movements. Since the 1960s, he held the chair of German literature at the City College of New York. He generously bequeathed his extensive library, with a particular focus on the Enlightenment, to the MLU.

The Alfred-Anger Library is held at the IZEA as a special collection not open to the public, and can be consulted by appointment. A research through the collection is possible thanks to the contents description established by A. Anger.

Contents description of the Alfred Anger Library

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